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Requisites and Etiquette of Majlis-e Shura
An address delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be his Helper), from Baitul Futuh Mosque, London on the occasion of Majlis-e-Shura UK 2013
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Huzuraba based His Friday Sermon today on verse 160 of Surah Al Imran (3:160) and gave a discourse on the requisites and etiquette of Majlis e Shura, (Consultative Body).
Huzuraba said the Shura in Pakistan is commencing today and there will be subsequent Shuras in other countries around the world.
Huzuraba said the department of Shura is most significant in helping the Nizam e Jama’at (Administrative system of the Community) and the Nizam e Khilafat. In light of Quranic guidance and the blessed model of the Holy Prophetsaw Hadhrat Umerra said that there is no Khilafat without Shura.
Huzuraba said as the above verse explains it is not essential to endorse the Shura proposal held by the majority; at times the suggestion of the minority etc forms the decision and once the decision is made then trust must be put in Allah.
Although the verse addresses the Holy Prophetsaw but the inference is the ummah. In this age after the advent of the Promised Messiahas and according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsaw Khilafat “on the precept of prophethood” has been established, therefore the connotation in the verse is that the Khalifa will have kindness for his community. It is due to special grace and mercy of Allah that the institution of Khilafat and that of the Community is flourishing and the connection people of the Community have with the Khalifa is also a grace of Allah; it is a mutual flow that is established by following the Sunnah.
The Khalifa is commanded to consult in matters of importance, be kind and to pray. When consulted, people are commanded to be of virtuous intent and give their suggestions abiding by taqwa.
Huzuraba quoted Hadhrat Alira and said that counsel should be sought from those who are sensible and those who worship God. Huzuraba said representative for the Shura are appointed on the basis of compliance to the Nizam e Jama’at, financial sacrifice and worship of God. This puts a great responsibility on the members of the Community to appoint representative for Shura on the basis of taqwa rather than personal friendship or relations.
Huzuraba said in Pakistan the appointment for Shura representatives would have been made by now, however those who have yet to select their representatives should be mindful that Allah commands that trusts should be handed over to those who are deserving. Huzuraba said these people are prospective advisors to the Khalifa therefore much care is needed and those who clearly and evidently appear undeserving or those who seek self-promotion should not be chosen.
To the representatives Huzuraba said their responsibility is not just for the two or three days of the Shura conference but for the whole year until the next set of representatives are chosen. Therefore they need to continually self-reflect; they ought to be sincere worshippers of God who stands firm on taqwa and when no clear guidance is found in the Holy Qur’an or the Sunnah, they seek Allah’s guidance through prayer. These representatives are chosen by means of positive inference therefore they have an obligation to honour the trust.
Explaining the hypothetical point whereby some are chosen for Shura by other yardstick/standards than the requisite, Huzuraba hoped and prayed that they also abide by taqwa and honour the trust of Shura. Huzuraba prayed that may he not be given people with worldly motives.
When a Shura proposal is approved by the Khalifa of the day and is introduced in the Community then it is the duty of the representatives to see if it is being properly implemented or not. If they fail to keep an eye on this they are not fulfilling their obligation and even if they get away with it in this world by making excuses, Allah shall definitely hold them to account.
Huzuraba said vigilance to ensure the decisions are implemented facilitates progress of the Community; it creates a clear advancement, a clear awakening.
Commenting on the situation when a decision is not implemented properly and is then re-introduced as a proposal (according to the rules after duration of three years) Huzuraba said this shows incapability and apathy. The national and the local office-holders should analyse this and assess why the implementation had not taken place. Huzuraba said there should be a specific time during Shura to discuss this particular point.
Huzuraba said an analysis should be done and the method of the Jama’ats who endeavour and do well should be reviewed so that others also get an opportunity to improve; however there should be no personal criticism and only the departmental work should be reviewed and a strategy should be made to avoid the re-introductions of proposals after three years, which is counter productive.
Huzuraba said to the Shura representatives that they should be mindful that in the eyes of the Community they are the best section of the Community who have been entrusted to serve the Community and it is expected that their standards of worship of God, of fulfilling the rights of others and of obedience to the Khalifa would be very high. This is why the Shura representatives and the office-holders should evaluate the standard of their worship; worship of God is fundamental and seeing that Salat is obligatory for the ordinary Ahmadi, the office-holders should try that all their Salat are observed in congregation. Having being chosen as the key people in the Community and given responsibilities, if they did not pay attention to the mainstays of faith then what service could they render and what suggestions and proposal could they give. Huzuraba said they should be honest in their money dealings and should be sincere in their dealings with their neighbours. Expounding this point Huzuraba said the Promised Messiahas has said that your brothers in faith are also your neighbours. Therefore each office-holder should remember that every Ahmadi is their neighbour; at times when office-holder is the cause of hurting an ordinary Ahmadi, it causes them to stumble.
Office-holders need to demonstrate excellent model in civility and morals so that people replicate the high standards. Regarding obedience to the Khalifa, if they are not fully attentive in implementing what is required then they could be imperceptibly viewing the decision of the Khalifa in negative light.
The opportunity to serve should not be looked upon only as a status; it is only eminent when taqwa is adhered to.
Huzuraba said during the Shura discussions one should not be swayed by anyone’s oratory etc but should reflect over all its aspects before giving suggestions. Once the decision of the Khalifa of the day is made on the Shura proposal, whether in its original form or with changes, its implementation should be pursued.
Huzuraba reiterated that effort should be made to enhance the sense of responsibility and the Shura representatives as well as others should spend the time engaged in prayers; being alert and sharp is not going to bring about the triumph of Ahmadiyyat or indeed any revolution; those come to pass with prayers.
Huzuraba read an inspiring extract from the writings of the Promised Messiahas and said that if Shura representatives, those who serve the Community and the office holders kept in view the significance of abiding by taqwa, the standards of the Community would go up.
Huzuraba prayed that may those who are been given the opportunity to serve the Community in any which way, be sincere helpers to the Khalifa of the day.